The weather was against them. On its first voyage, from Southampton, England, to New York with stops in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, the Titanic was carrying 2,206 people, including a crew of 898.A relatively mild winter had produced a bumper crop of icebergs in the North Atlantic, but the crew, believing their ship was unsinkable, paid scant attention to warnings. On the night of Sunday, April 14, other ships in the area reported icebergs by radio, but their messages were not delivered to the bridge or the captain of the Titanic. The iceberg that struck the ship was spotted at 11:40 p.m. Although a dead-on collision was avoided, the Titanic‘s starboard side violently scraped the iceberg, ripping open six compartments. The ship’s design could withstand only four compartments flooding.
The survivors–those who successfully made it onto the lifeboats–were largely women who were traveling first class. In fact, the third-class passengers were not even allowed onto the deck until the first-class female passengers had abandoned the ship. White Star President Bruce Ismay jumped onto the last lifeboat though there were women and children still waiting to board. At 2:20 a.m., the Titanic finally sank. Breaking in half, it plunged downward to the sea floor. Captain Edward Smith went down with the ship. The Carpathia arrived about an hour later and rescued the 705 people who made it onto the lifeboats. The people who were forced into the cold waters all perished.